Frequently asked questions about Speaking
Q: Why should we trust that you know what you are talking about?
A: I have been studying the topics I talk about for over 20 years, and always read a mass of research, from different viewpoints, before I dare talk with authority about any new topic. I have a classically trained and highly analytical mind and do not believe anything I read or hear unless it is well supported by robust research and fits with my existing understanding. Because I am not a research scientist, I have a very wide overview: a neuroscientists would know more than I do about molecular behaviour inside neurons but if you want a wide range of insights into different fields and the connections we can make between research in different areas of science, that’s my bread and butter.
You’ll find masses of the research I have read in the resources section of this site. There, you can chase up the research yourself and see if you agree with my analyses.
Q: How long should the event be?
A: I can adapt to your time-table. However, a session with adults really needs at least an hour and a half if you want to include Q&A; a talk for students really needs an hour. INSET can be anything from 1.5 hours to a whole day. A keynote is typically an hour and anything less is very difficult.
Q: How big an audience?
A: As big as you like! I do not charge more to speak to large audiences. Of course, if you want me to be interactive, larger audiences makes that harder. Also, it’s usually best not to mix ages – ideally no more than two consecutive years for student talks.
Q: How far will you travel?
A: As far as you like! I live about 70 miles North of London and can reach Stansted and Birmingham airports and stations. Of course, all my expenses must be covered. I keep costs to a minimum with the exception of long-haul flights, which would usually be Business Class. Experience has taught me that this is necessary if I am to remain healthy and in the best condition to work for you. See my International Speaking page for some more details but still enquire in the same way.
Q: What do you charge?
A: It depends. I compute my fee based on the complete time I think the work will take, including preparation, admin and travelling, as well as the day of the event itself. I am effectively working out the “cost” to me and charging accordingly. For something particularly high-profile or interesting, I might be able to lower my fee but I value my time and expertise highly and I hope you do, too. I believe you will get terrific value. Some types of event are quicker to prepare than others. Do discuss your budget with me, as there are often ways we can reduce my cost.
To give you an idea, I tend to work on the following minimum guidelines for UK trips:
- A day or part day spent at home on preparation and admin – £250
- A day or part day spent travelling – £300
- A day or part day spent with you at your venue – £500
Expenses are extra and will be discussed in advance. See the International Speaking page for anything that might be different.
Q: Can we see your Terms and Conditions?
A: Certainly. They are here.
Q: How far in advance should we book you?
A: Don’t delay, especially for overseas trips. My diary is likely to be full 3-5 months ahead and I usually take bookings 6-12 months or more ahead. We can always make it provisional if you aren’t sure of your dates or budget. Because I have to keep enough time in my diary for writing and consultancy work, I can’t fill my diary too full with events so I do quite often have to say no. This is why getting in early will help you!
Q: What should we do now?
A: Contact me using the form. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t decided what you want: discussion is free!